Can German Shepherds Get Along With Rabbits? (Yes or No?)

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you’re searching for a furry companion and are curious if a German Shepherd can be pals with rabbits, you have come to the right place!

German Shepherds are famous for being loyal, intelligent, and protective, which makes them paw-some pets for many families.

But, if you’re already a bunny parent, you might be itching to know if your German Shepherd and a floppy-eared friend can coexist. No need to panic! 

In this article, we’ll investigate whether German Shepherds and rabbits can live in peace and harmony, and I will provide you with some nifty tips to foster their friendship. 

So, can German Shepherds get along with rabbits? Let’s sniff it out!

Can German Shepherds Get Along With Rabbits?

Can German Shepherds Get Along With Rabbits?

No, German shepherds can not get along with rabbits. Keeping a pet rabbit with a German Shepherd can be risky, as GSD has a high prey drive, meaning they are more likely to chase and potentially harm small animals like rabbits. 

Training a German Shepherd to leave a rabbit alone is possible. But it is better never to leave a rabbit and German Shepherd alone together, no matter how well you think your GSD is trained.

However, If you already have a pet rabbit and are considering adding a new furry friend to your bunny’s life, you must do some research first. 

Look for dog breeds known to be more compatible with small animals. 

Remember that every dog is unique and may behave differently, but certain breeds have a history of hunting and may have a stronger instinct to chase and capture prey. 

So, before making any decisions, consider the potential risks and make an informed choice.

Dog Breeds That Get Along With Rabbits

Here are some dog breeds that are known to have a lower prey drive and are more likely to get along with rabbits:

Bernese Mountain Dog: 

These dogs are known for their calm, gentle demeanor and protectiveness. They’re generally amicable with other animals, rabbits included, and can make great family pets.

Golden Retriever: 

Golden Retrievers are some of the most social and loving dogs. They tend to get along well with all sorts of creatures, including rabbits, and their loyalty and playfulness make them great family pets.


Maltese dogs are affectionate and gentle, with a small size and a low likelihood of chasing after prey. They could be an excellent choice for families with rabbits, as they tend to be very devoted companions.

Japanese Chin: 

These dogs have a sweet and loving personalities with a gentle nature that doesn’t involve a lot of chasing after prey. They could make great pets for families with smaller animals like rabbits.

Australian Shepherd: 

These dogs are intelligent and known for their loyalty and affection toward their owners. They tend to get along well with other animals, rabbits included and can make excellent family pets.


Boxers are playful and friendly, with a protective instinct that could make them good friends with rabbits. However, they have a moderate prey drive, so training and supervising them is essential when they’re around smaller pets like rabbits is essential.

Dog Breeds That Don’t Get Along With Rabbit

Can German Shepherds Live with Rabbits

Dogs are natural predators of rabbits, and some breeds are likelier to show aggressive behavior toward them. 

The following dog breeds were historically bred for hunting and had a strong prey drive that can cause them to chase, attack, and even kill rabbits:

  • Huskies
  • Greyhounds
  • Beagles
  • German Shepherds
  • Dachshunds
  • Labradoodles
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Lagotto Romagnolos
  • Lakeland Terriers
  • Large Münsterländers
  • Leonbergers

Remember that even if a dog has yet to be trained to hunt, it may still act on its natural instincts when encountering a rabbit. 

In addition to hunting breeds, several other types of dogs may not be suitable for households with rabbits. 

So, if you’re a pet owner who already has a rabbit or is thinking about getting one, it’s crucial to choose a dog breed known to be rabbit-friendly. This way, you can avoid potential harm or distress to your furry friends.

Also Read: German Shepherd Protection Quotes That Are Short

How Do You Introduce A Rabbit to A German Shepherd?

Introducing a rabbit to a German Shepherd can be a real challenge, but following some basic steps, it is possible. 

Step 1:

First, do some research on dogs and rabbits. Remember, a dog’s breed doesn’t necessarily indicate its personality. Monitoring your dog’s behavior before introducing it to any pet is essential. 

Step 2:

Practice obedience training with your dog for the introduction. Ensure your dog can respond well to voice commands and is easily controlled. Keep your rabbit safe by putting it in a secure environment where it can’t run away, and watch out for anything unpredictable that could happen. During the first meeting, secure your dog, as it may need to be under firm control. 

Step 3:

Now, it’s time for the introduction process. Take it slowly and bring the animals closer together. Let the rabbit approach the dog, and keep an eye on them at all times. Please do not leave them alone with each other. 

Step 4: 

Lastly, monitor their interaction and practice the routine until it becomes second nature. Always separate feeding areas for both animals to avoid territorial disputes. 

Introducing a rabbit to a dog with careful planning and supervision. The most important thing to remember is to take it slow. 

Rabbits are prey animals and can be very scared of other animals and people. You want to ensure you are not stressing out your rabbit; they can even get sick or die from shock alone. 

When introducing a dog to a rabbit, it is best to have them on a leash and contain them during the first few meetings. Put the rabbit in a safe environment, such as a cage or pen, where they cannot run away and keep them safe if something unpredictable happens.

With these steps, you can help your pets get along and create a safe and peaceful household.

Final Thoughts – Can German Shepherds Live with Rabbits

So, in a nutshell, rabbits and German Shepherds aren’t always the best of friends since GSDs have a tendency to prey on smaller animals like rabbits. But fret not, as training your German Shepherd to coexist with a rabbit can be achieved.

If you have a pet rabbit and are considering bringing in another furry friend, it’s crucial to do some research and find dog breeds that have a reputation for being compatible with small animals. Some such breeds are the Bernese Mountain Dog, Golden Retriever, Maltese, Japanese Chin, Australian Shepherd, and Boxer.

A rabbit should be introduced to a GSD with utmost care and supervision. The trick is to take things slow and have a well-thought-out plan. Remember, never leave your dog alone with a rabbit – that’s a recipe for disaster. (3.)

Also Read: Benefits Of Cucumbers For German Shepherds

German Shepherd And Rabbit FAQ

German Shepherd And Rabbit FAQ

Should I Get A German Shepherd If I Already Have A Pet Rabbit?

You should consider getting a German Shepherd as a new furry friend if you’re a pet rabbit owner.

Despite being beautiful dogs, GSDs tend to have a natural instinct to chase and prey on smaller animals like rabbits.

Even though training can help, it’s not guaranteed they won’t harm the rabbit. Instead, look into other dog breeds, such as Japanese Chin or Bernese Mountain Dogs, which are known to be more compatible with rabbits.

What Should I Do If My German Shepherd Tries To Chase Or Attack My Rabbit?

If your German Shepherd tries to chase or attack your rabbit, it’s essential to remember that dogs have a natural instinct to do so.

The best approach is to introduce the animals gradually and reward calm behavior with treats and praise. Instead of correcting negative behavior immediately, focus on positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. 

Is It Safe To Leave A German Shepherd Alone With A Pet Rabbit?

Leaving a German Shepherd alone with a pet rabbit is not recommended because of the GSD’s natural tendency to chase and prey on small animals. Leaving them together without supervision is not advisable, even if your GSD has been trained well.

To ensure the safety of both pets, bonding should be done in a secure environment with consistent exposure.

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

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